Early July saw the 10th anniversary of the granting of UNESCO World Heritage status to the Renaissance towns of Baeza and Ùbeda, Andalucia. To celebrate, the towns offered a special accommodation deal for ten days of only 10 euros per person each night.
Two nights in Baeza for 20 euros each? How I love a bargain!
Situated in Jaen province, crammed full of Renaissance architecture and surrounded by olive trees as far as the eye can see, the towns of Baeza and Ùbeda are separated by only 9 kilometres.
After a three hour drive from home, we arrived at our hotel, the 4* Palacio de Los Salcedo, the former home of the Count and Countess Salcedo in Baeza, and set off to explore the town before it got too hot. As you can see from the photos, we pretty much had the place to ourselves.
Although we have visited Baeza before, it was only as a day trip whilst we were staying at the Parador in Jaen several years ago, so it was nice to have time to explore more leisurely.
We saw the old university dating from 1538 before visiting the Palacio Jabalquinto which is the site of the current University of Andalucía. The facade and interior of this building is outstanding, and you are free to wander around inside.
We climbed up the very narrow spiral stone staircase to the tower of Baeza Cathedral for great views over the city.
Part way up the stairs I managed to bang my head on a stone beam supporting the steps, so hard I almost knocked myself out. Blimey – talk about seeing stars – I think I saw the whole of the Milky Way!! It made me feel sick and my knees were weak for the next half an hour.
So it was with some relief that we finally made it back down to the inside of the cathedral where we viewed the ornate crystal chandelier and the precious gold and silver decorations. In the cathedral museum we found some fascinating huge old books from the 16th century.
In the evening, sufficiently recovered from my earlier mis-hap, Plaza España drew us in to sit beneath the one thousand year old tower for a glass of wine and some tapas, before heading across town to Hotel Puerta de la Luna. Inside is the fabulous Paco’s bar, quite rightly rated the No.1 place to eat in Baeza …… it’s fabulous!